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Preview: Blackburn Rovers vs. Barnsley - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Blackburn Rovers and Barnsley, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Blackburn Rovers play host to Barnsley on Saturday afternoon holding a two-point advantage over their opponents in the Championship standings.

While the home side are unbeaten in four fixtures, the Tykes' 1-0 defeat to Brentford in midweek ended their two-match winning streak.


Match preview

Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray pictured on October 17, 2020© Reuters

On the back of successive defeats to Reading and Swansea City, Tony Mowbray would have acknowledged that Blackburn could ill-afford any more games without a win if they were to remain in contention at the right end of the table.

Rovers have since responded with eight points from four matches, recording a 3-0 victory over neighbours Preston North End to move into 12th spot in the table.

Although Rovers still sit five points adrift of the top six, they have been making steps in the right direction, particularly in defence after their previous efforts had undermined their goal-hungry frontmen.

Blackburn have conceded just two goals in their last 360 minutes of action, while their treble at Deepdale means that they have now scored four more goals than any other team in the second tier.

Games against in-form opposition have been their undoing in the past, but Mowbray will feel that his side can take advantage of Barnsley losing out against Brentford in midweek.

Failure to defeat last season's playoff runners-up is unlikely to hinder the Tykes in the long term after previously recording four wins from five outings.

Nevertheless, Valerien Ismael will feel that an opportunity was missed to make further headway up the standings, rather than having to keep paying attention to the teams below them.

Despite the disappointment which came with that result, Barnsley sit in third place in the form table since Ismael's arrival at Oakwell last month.

Four clean sheets have also been recorded during that run, and facing an attack-minded Blackburn outfit will highlight how far Barnsley have progressed under the Frenchman.

Blackburn Rovers Championship form: LLDWDW

Barnsley Championship form: WWLWWL


Team News

Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Having taken the opportunity to rest a number of his players during the second half against Preston, Mowbray could name the same starting XI for this game.

That would see Stewart Downing and Harvey Elliot have to make do with a spot among the replacements.

While Barnsley boss Ismael will not over-react to Tuesday's defeat, he may take the chance to hand a rest to midfielder Matty James.

After making seven appearances from the substitutes' bench since joining from Liverpool, Herbie Kane is in line for his first start.

Blackburn Rovers possible starting lineup:
Kaminski; Nyambe, Lenihan, Wharton, Douglas; Holtby, Trybull, Rothwell; Gallagher, Armstrong, Brereton

Barnsley possible starting lineup:
Walton; Sollbauer, Helik, Andersen; Brittain, Kane, Mowatt, Styles; Chaplin, Woodrow, Frieser


SM words green background

We say: Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Barnsley

Although Blackburn possess the best attack in the Championship, Barnsley have impressed defensively since the arrival of Ismael. With that in mind, we are backing the visitors to battle their way to a hard-earned point at Ewood Park.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall pictured on November 7, 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich24155433211250
2Swansea CitySwansea24137429131646
3Bournemouth24119438201842
4Brentford22118336211541
5Reading2312473428640
6Watford2210752617937
7Middlesbrough22106628181036
8Stoke CityStoke249962723436
9Bristol City2311392524136
10Barnsley24104102731-434
11Blackburn RoversBlackburn2496939281133
12Luton TownLuton249692126-533
13Preston North EndPreston24102123033-332
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2494112834-631
15Cardiff CityCardiff2385103027329
16Millwall2351172024-426
17Coventry CityCoventry236892231-926
18Birmingham CityBirmingham2468101829-1126
19Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2467111927-825
20Queens Park RangersQPR235992230-824
21Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds2367101523-819
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham2154122029-919
23Derby CountyDerby2347121425-1119
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe2336141635-1915

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